My husband frequently accuses me of a condition he likes to call verbal diarrhea. I am generally appalled when he says it and I stomp off, wagging my top knot indignantly. I mean, how rude!
…and how true.
The more it sinks in and simmers in my brain, the more I know he’s right. He accuses me of talking at him rather than conversing with him. And maybe that’s a teensy bit true. It’s almost like I just throw words and feelings and events at him and stand back to see what sticks. I know he tunes me out. It’s a test in a subject that he sucks at.
But the more I think about it, the more this whole verbal diarrhea thing stinks of truth in pretty much all areas of life. I am an awkward oversharer. I mean, I don’t think you can have a blog without falling into this category. Or post regularly to Facebook or Twitter.
But it’s so much more than that.
If you come up to me and tell me how much you like my shirt, I will quickly tell you that I bought it at a deep discount with a coupon piled on top (holler!) or that it’s a good thing you didn’t see me a few minutes ago when it was covered in baby poop. If you catch me on a particularly good day, I will treat you to an awkward, drawn-out compilation of the two. The same goes for shoes and purses and iPhone cases (baby poop knows no bounds, friends).
You want to tell me I look pretty today? I’ll tell you not to look too closely because I can feel the rosacea welt of all rosacea welts rising up on my face. My hair looks nice? I haven’t washed it in three days. My kids are being particularly well behaved? Don’t worry, I’ll tell you about the last time they mortified me in public or the last thing I caught Ellie smearing all over herself.
If you have something to say about me (particularly a compliment), I will have a self-deprecating retort quicker than you can take your next breath.
If I don’t know you very well and we are stuck in some sort of small talk or if I do know you and I’m nervous for some reason (maybe it’s the way the wind is blowing or maybe I’m unsure if I remembered to put on deodorant), I will assault you with words. Kind of like I’m doing right now.
For some reason, oversharing (which often doubles as verbal diarrhea) is my default mode. I lay it all out and tell you what’s coming before you have a chance to judge me on your own.
Some people find it borderline endearing. There’s nothing intimidating about a person who lays it all out there. Some people find it borderline narcissistic (I disagree with that assessment, but whatever). I just find it annoying.
Before I even have a chance to think, I regularly tear myself down in a twisted effort to “bond” with people. That’s what it really is. It’s not talking about myself because I think I’m the shit. It’s generally making myself out to be less than the person I’m talking to, as if that will make me easier to relate to.
Once in awhile, that’s alright. I guess. But when it’s consistent and done without even thinking, it’s a whole different animal. What kind of example is that to my daughters? I’m showing them that I constantly feel the need to apologize for myself. That’s not what I want for them. I want them to make no apologies for who they are and what they stand for. I don’t want them to bend or break down to make other people feel more comfortable. That’s ridiculous. So why do I do it?
I need to stop. I’m going to try to stop. If you catch me doing it, call me out on it.
Do you have a trait that drives you absolutely insane that you can’t seem to break out of? Overshare with me! 😉